Did TVR save the best for last? | PH Video

The Sagaris was wild-looking, but developed with newcomers in mind. Two decades later, we sent one along…

By Cam Tait / Sunday, 22 January 2023 / Loading comments

I’ve got something to admit and, as someone representing the PH smiley, it’s not one I’m all that proud of. So, here goes nothing: I have never driven a TVR. Understandable, perhaps, given the firm hasn’t launched a new product in nearly 20 years, but unacceptable too given that PH and TVR are intrinsically linked. So with 2023 marking our 25th anniversary (you may have heard), now seems like the perfect time to finally sample Blackpool’s finest. The car kind, that is.

Of course, it’s been close to six years since the Gordon Murray-designed Griffith first appeared, and (ahem) it’ll probably be a while yet before the chance to sample a completely new Trevor crops up, so I set about looking for one of the last models to be built before the company fell apart in 2006.

So why a Sagaris? Gloriously ridiculous styling aside, the Sagaris marked a major step change in TVR’s approach. With Peter Wheeler handing ownership of the company over to a 24-year-old Russian businessman in 2004, plans were set in place to make the cars more accessible to drivers while simultaneously seeing to some of the build quality issues. Basically, make them less twitchy at the limit and stop them from leaking. The Sagaris, therefore, was meant as a statement of intent; that TVR could maintain its no-nonsense image – no airbags or driver aids, obviously – while improving the previously questionable fit and finish.

That’s partly why I chose the Sagaris you see here, which is up for sale at HPC Classics on the south coast. Not only does it have a full service history and only two former owners, but it’s managed a hugely impressive 94,000 miles – albeit with a bit of engine work along the way. At £62,990 it’s the cheapest Sagaris currently listed on the classifieds, with lower mileage examples carrying a hefty premium. Some may think ‘more miles mean more problems’, but we know better. And a day with the Beast of Blackpool only proved further what an utterly superb sports car the Sagaris really is. What might have been, eh? 

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